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Carrollton Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Requiring motorcycle riders to wear a helmet while riding has always been a contentious issue. While most riders understand that wearing a helmet is a smart thing to do, an effective protection against the catastrophic head and neck injuries that make up the majority of fatalities and crippling injuries resulting from accidents, many consider helmet laws to be a transgression against their personal freedom and rights.

Nevertheless, most states now require bikers to wear a helmet, citing the costs to insurance companies and the public as justification, and Georgia is one of those states. The statute that covers the mandatory use of a helmet is 40-6-315. It states, “No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the Board of Public Safety.” This law not only makes it against the law to ride without a helmet but also potentially comes into play when filing a motorcycle accident claim. For this reason, it is important for all motorcycle riders to understand state helmet laws and follow them as closely as possible.

Enforcement of Helmet Laws

When first written, the law was somewhat confusing and hard to follow since it required the Georgia Commissioner of Public Safety to publish an annual list of approved helmets. But this requirement proved to be tedious and impractical, and the Commissioner eventually decided to pass a rule that any helmet that has been tested and approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation is acceptable.

The fines for riding a motorcycle without a helmet in Georgia are technically pretty high. Although it is a misdemeanor, it carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, in practice, the penalties are generally much less. To date, the most serious penalty handed out by a court in Georgia for not wearing a helmet has been a $500 fine and 1,000 hours of community service work.

Georgia also requires that motorcycle riders wear DOT approved eye protection, either a visor on the helmet or approved goggles.

It should also be noted that the law states that if helmets are equipped with speakers, they can only be used for communication with passengers or other riders, not for listening to music or other types of entertainment.

Many riders are unhappy with helmet laws, and feel that wearing them is uncomfortable and an unnecessary imposition on their enjoyment. But there can be no doubt that wearing a helmet saves many lives every year, and like it or not, it’s the law.

Contacting a Lawyer

Our motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients in Douglasville, Cedartown, LaGrange, Newnan, Bremen, Rome, and all over the State of Georgia.  If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us today.